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NFL Chicago BearsGreen Bay Packers

Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears Making it Personal

Jeff Hanisch – USA Today Sports

Okay, the Chicago Bears and the Green Bay Packers both need to shut up.

Let’s narrow that down: Brandon Marshall and Jermichael Finley both need to shut up. Instead of waiting to hash out their differences on the field on Sunday, the two have spent the day providing bulletin board material for each other’s teams.

To be fair, and not at all biased, Marshall totally started it all. In an interview he said that he “really dislikes” the Packers, from the organization to the players. He called out their defenders – presumably cornerback Tramon Williams in specific, though unnamed – for essentially bragging about their success against him. Marshall’s point was that the Packers never leave him in single coverage so Williams mentioning his success against Marshall is not accurate, as he’s had plenty of safety help.

Marshall’s right about the Packers rarely leaving him in single coverage – they’re not morons – but Tramon hasn’t been talking himself up as far as I know. Williams, like most NFL players, is confident in his abilities but is always quick to credit the talents and abilities of the receivers he’s going against.

Perhaps Marshall is sore about Williams’ comments earlier in the season in which he implied that Marshall’s success isn’t always legal. (Okay, so maybe I wasn’t completely unbiased when I said Marshall started it.) Back in November, Tramon said:

“If there’s anybody who likes to bend and break the rules, it probably would be Brandon Marshall … Obviously as a big receiver, you want to be physical. Some of the things he does he shouldn’t be able to do against press coverage. He’s one of those guys where he wants you to put your hands on him so he’s going to grab you and throw you. I’m like, ‘Mr. Ref, he’s not fast enough to get on top of me. How do you think he got on top?’ He has some tricks to him … He’s a physical specimen. For a guy like that to do stuff like that also is kind of hard.”

The Packers were fine with letting Marshall run his mouth, declining to respond in kind – until Jermichael Finley decided to start talking. Never a good sign.

Packer fans usually cringe when Finley opens his mouth, whether it’s to criticize his own quarterback or say the team is suffering because he’s not getting enough throws. It’s rarely good news when JMike has a microphone in front of him.

In his latest salvo, Finley claimed that the Bears are better without injured linebacker Brian Urlacher. “Urlacher is at the end of his career right now; he’s playing a little slow out there…I don’t think they’re losing too much if he’s out. Putting another guy in might help them a little.”

Oh, Jermichael. Who does he think he’s helping with comments like these? You know, the truth is that Urlacher has lost a step, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t still a great defender who has the ability to disrupt offenses.

And, more pertinently, why is Finley taking potshots at a guy who isn’t even going to be on the field Sunday? This isn’t the first – or fifth – time this season I’ve found myself thinking, “Just be quiet Finley!” There’s no need for all of this.

Everyone knows that the Packers don’t like the Bears and vice versa. When you’re born in either Wisconsin or Illinois, it’s part of your birthright that you dislike the other team. It goes without saying.

There’s a lot at stake in Sunday’s matchup, divisionally speaking. The Packers are trying to clinch the division title and the Bears are trying to vamp up again after a midseason stall. For all the talk on both sides, the teams and the players will have to back up their words on the turf come Sunday.